Watching TV at School

OK, so today I just posed a question on Facebook and Twitter about what other parents think about my son’s teacher letting the kids watch TV, namely Looney Tunes, while they eat lunch at school.

My biggest issue was that my son is just zoning out on the TV and not spending that precious time chatting with his friends and practicing his social skills.  My other problem was that I see school as this excellent reprieve from all the screen time he wants at home and now I have no idea how much time he’s spending in front of a screen at school.  She teaches with a smart board, he has his own computer at school to use for a few reasons, and now I’m just left wondering how much time he’s spending like this.

Other parents raised other concerns that I wasn’t thinking of.  Like some kids, after watching shows like that, will have behavior issues.  Some have night terror issues.  Some zone out too much and eat slow and don’t get to finish their lunch.  I think this is why Silas always comes home with hardly any of his lunch eaten and Isaac eats all of his.

Another thing I don’t like is that the teacher just assumes all of us parents are OK with the content she’s showing our children.  I’m not, actually.  I don’t like my son watching that stuff.  For many reasons.  I’ve been very anal about what my children watch, read and play with.  I’ll get into that in another post.  But I’m SLOWLY expanding what they can watch.  Didn’t permission slips used to go home when there was a movie being shown at school?

I wouldn’t mind so much if it was something more educational, they ARE in school.  They’re doing a unit on planets, why not cue up some awesome space shows on that smart board??  At least that’s WAY less stimulating than watching Elmer Fudd trying to shoot Bugs Bunny’s head off.  Doncha think?

What are your thoughts?  Should I speak up?





  1. What? I’m so surprised to read about this! I can’t believe she would let them do that. My goddaughter zones out completely when she watches tv and wouldn’t get any lunch in her at all.

    Yes!! Do speak up!!! I can guarantee that more parents than you are concern about this.

    May I ask if Silas goes to a “normal” (hate that word, but I can’t come up with another) class?

    And, oh, PLEASE write about your thoughts about toys, books and tv for your boys!

  2. A movie to be shown on a raining day when the kids are being kept in is expected & you can call the school to find out what they are showing. No problems. But, everyday at lunch??? That’s ridiculous. I had no idea this was happening. That would explain why my daughter hasn’t been eating hardly any of her lunch either. She scarfs everything when she gets home & then picks at dinner. Clearly it’s distracting to them & robbing them of the chance to socialize in a sit down setting as opposed to running around the playground. That’s 2 strikes! Her choice is also CRAP!!! Looney Toons? Really? Strike 3!! It’s violent, rude & pointless. Yes, we grew up with it & supposedly turned out just fine (ha ha ha), but I have a son with Autism & if it were him in the class we would be having some major behaviour issues guaranteed. Right now we have him limited to what he is allowed to watch because will mimic what he sees & hears. He doesn’t understand the difference. He’s developed a fixation on Snoopy right now & we are noticing all sorts of negative behaviours. “Blockhead”, kicking, yelling, etc…. (Lucy is not nice) things you don’t think about, you think are harmless, it’s just a cartoon …. then you see, it’s not harmless, not at all. I would be absolutely insisting that they change the type of viewing at lunch hour if it’s even necessary to have at all.

  3. Um, speak up. Yes Yes Yes. I agree with Melinda’s comments. Also, there are other tools to use if the Teacher is overwhelmed and needs a break at lunch. Gosh, I’m kind of shocked…

  4. This happened all the time last year at that school that shall not be named and I’m SO THANKFUL that it’s not happening in our new school. Unfortunately the endless complaints that the teacher got from the parents were not well received and were completely ignored. Hopefully when you go speak to the teacher it will be received well. (Go with solutions – are you willing to go and supervise during the eating period? That’s what I had to do to get rid of the TV). Good luck.

  5. My son earned to do that, if he had enough consistent behavior points. They ate lunch in the room and watched a Disney movie in installments until they got to the end. It was a very popular reward on the behavior plan and he loved getting to eat away from all the noise with his favorite teachers (they could ask a ‘guest’). So I guess my opinion is, it depends on how it is being used, and why. Is it a reward or a babysitter?

      1. Yes, either way, it’s a short term solution. Rewards for good behavior are short term, letting children watch TV while eating just creates bad habits and robs them of the chance to socialize while eating. GAG, they’re just training them to zombie when eating. Don’t even get me started on TV’s in Pubs/restaurants/doctors’ offices! Good grief!

  6. I really hope you do say something to the teacher! I have a lot of issues with the school systems, which is why I plan to homeschool. (And I really hope I can make that work and still allow my son plenty of social activities.) I completely understand your concern with screen time. I worry that we have the TV on too much, even if it is only 2 hours in a 24 hour period.
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  7. Hi there…I just came across your post and am curious if you had any luck changing the TV situation in your children’s school? I found out this morning that my daughter’s grade 1 class watches Garfield while they eat. I am so annoyed for all of the reasons mentioned in your post. I am trying not to have a knee-jerk reaction and am waiting to gather both sides of the story. But it boggles my mind that educators would deem this practice appropriate despite sound scientific studies that warn against it! Sigh…

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, things changed after Christmas. I don’t like how I went about it but she mentioned that the movie they were watching during the Christmas concert (while they were waiting for their turn) was scaring Silas. I took that as an opportunity to tell her how a lot of things scare him and how we really censor what he watches at this point. I said “we don’t even let him watch Loonie Tunes”. So awful and passive aggressive. I hated myself for saying that. Another conversation came up after about how I don’t know how much media time my kid has had in a day because they have so much at school.

      She agreed it was too much. She also told me she read my blog, she didn’t mention this post but told me she enjoyed it. I was like “shit”.

      So, while I hate how shit went down, it was a new classroom after Christmas break. No more TV. She was more on the ball about other things too and we continued to have a good relationship despite my awkward communication skills.

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